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Higher Education - Free for all or Fee for all?

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      05.09.2010 19:03
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      Fees are needed, but does it need to be so costly?

      My education has been paid for since I was 11 years old, as the only decent school that I live near is private. Although I passed the 11+ I was not in the catchment area for the nearest Grammar School. By the time I *hopefully* get a job, I will have spent £24,000 on higher education excluding interest and any bank debt, and I will have gained a BSc, MSc and I am currently applying to do a PGCE so hopefully that as well. However, there is a Catch 22 during the current state of our economy. Due to the lack of jobs it would be the perfect time to further your education, but people can't afford to pay for it. Yes, you may be eligible to receive a Student Loan, but it won't always cover the costs for living etc. I do agree with paying for Higher Education - however perhaps nowhere near as much as they currently charge. But then again, the universities need the money... I managed to JUST get through on the cheaper university fees of £1500 a year or whatever it was. I don't think I would be willing to pay £3000 a year like it is now. What gets (annoys) me is that Scottish undergraduate education is free, and they only have to pay for their living costs. However, for the rest of the UK students have to pay for their Higher Education. I think its unfair that as part of the UK, Scotland has different financial rules. I think it would be better if it were the same across the UK - either all free or all paid for (I am an English person who went to a Scottish uni). They have always said that a degree will get you a job. One of the (many) reasons I am doing a Masters is because of the lack of jobs available, and those that I have applied for, I have been unsuccessful in getting. I would say it was my interview technique, but what about all the other graduates that can't get jobs...? So if my first degree can't get a me a job, has the £15,000 worth of debt that the degree has created, been a complete waste of money?

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        04.08.2010 17:44
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        will this change or stay the same?

        Universities fees change every year, they go up, so it gets more expensive each year. However, earlier this year universities are deciding to cut down on places, and students should not go into clearing due to number of spaces, so thousands of students could loose out, this is due to the loans and grants they have to give students so that they can afford to go, which is costing the government millions of pounds. But there is not right or wrong reason of why there should be a fee or no fee. If there was no fee, students may only go there for the party life style, get away from parents or just for the sake of free university experience and it would be a total waste of time. Where as if a fee is included this will only be given for students who are willing to work hard and get a decent degree in their chosen subject/s, however there are students every year coming out jobless (even Oxford and Cambridge) and having to pay back their loans at least a year after completing their degree, and also this depending what sort of degree students come out with whether it's a second upper class, upper class, lower class or even worse a fail. However I have seen that it is unfair that students who have paid all that money to keep a degree and a job whereas other people who haven't done degrees and get better jobs than those who have degrees. But this can change big time in the future as it seems to change every year, and massive changes could change.

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          02.09.2009 17:38
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          Education - Thatcherism is still alive and kicking

          Education discussion - Free for all or fee for all? ================================= We don't need no eduflation ================== Remarkable isn't it, that there has been an on-going upward trend of exam passes for now 27 years. Yes who can smell a very large kipper? - That is a whole generation of young people who is apparently cleverer than their previous year. Baffled and confused; well your not the only one. It is just amazing what alco-pops can do to your brain-cells under exam conditions. All those young people hammered out of their skins, collapsing on pavements in a heap, forgetting who they are, perform magically well when under the silence of an examination hall. These are the same scally-wags who find it funny to shout out abusive language to you when at a petrol station, fuelled with vast amounts of alcohol; looking as if they're incapable of even sitting down due to being over reactive and using their 3 brain cells at a level higher than any other generation. Universities are helping crazy levels of debt for young people by systematically giving masses of books on the book list criteria; all aiding to start the poverty early for further education. Packed with the entire library upon their drunken shoulders, the hapless student cavorts with obvious debt problems and most of the time are bewildered to what they are doing in further education apart from the crazy alcohol shots and cheap student bars which are propped up with skinny glazed eyed ladies who are looking for an easy life, with an Eton lad equipped with Daddies Gold card. They may have had 4 Alevel's but what in? Handbag studies; media flirting; or maybe a in Beauty and drama, which they certainly would get top marks as most of them cause as much drama in their short lives than the whole of 'The Waking the Dead' cast. Well, what University life will provide you with is a potential love life, rather than if you stayed at home and worked. Girls cost money; especially the ones with 5 layers of foundation applied around their chops; with a shop full of cosmetics in the cabinet that requires a man to get for a favour; string and carrot along with a jealous ex can seriously damage your study let alone your health while preparing for a critic that will last 10 minutes; the other time will be carefully texting to friends about what the chances of falling into her pants, and wandering where the best place to get a Spiderman outfit with extra bulge for the mid week party. Yes mid week!!! - Now that 18 - 24 year olds are topping 1Million in jobless and not going to University to get seriously in debt. The government has enrolled in a scheme that will guarantee jobs for these groups of people who have been jobless for more than a year. I assume this is catering for the impending 2010 election promise. The chances of this being effective is about as likely as them getting a job in a market whereby no employer wants a delinquent nomad; mincing off to the local Tesco's for a cheap alcohol fix. There are not enough merchant bank jobs in the city to cater for all these young misfits; getting paid by taxpayers hard earned pension funds . The only place left is surely re-training, in Universities, where there are yet more debt, laden down with late nights and cheap booze and cheaper skinny girls carrying a giant bunny called 'Bunsie' in her student bag. You understand why the youth unemployment has soured and that has nothing to do with the 'not so deep' recession now, even though we all feel like it is. Thankfully, the increased 2p on petrol has stopped students aimlessly driving around in their soft tops exposing 2 inch cleavages and causing road chaos where-ever they go. To put it completely bluntly the University lifestyle is elitism; more than it ever was when I swung through the campus doors radiating sunshine and making up lurid cheesy comments that allowed for me to gain a 2:1 along with so many young and impressionable like minded students who enjoyed it far too much; at the expense of the taxpayer, who forked out grants for our well being. It's now a completely different tale now; as the average student throws in or 'up' roughly 6,699 GBP per year of debt. - The worrying sign is that the debt has increased on only last year has elapsed over 10 per cent; so this tells me that the number of temporary jobs or part-time work has dropped considerably; whether via the credit crunch thanks for the poor quality of bank regulation or huge shortfalls of what a recession brings the fact is the 'drunken student' has no choice but to take the debt that the student has been forced into. On top of the expenditure of having all these added pressures, the student has a 3,150 GBP per year tuition fee to pay their tutors. In 2010 the fees were down to increase but alas student leaders and lectures fear that by introducing further costs would be counter-productive for either there would be no-one to lecture, or the students would on street corners offering services. Not only will the skinny student have huge debts; the chances of gaining a full-time position of employment has been sliced regardless if your first class honours degree has been obtained; so no longer the student has hit the bottle, and yet more counselors have sent out to Universities for crisis talks with students with yet more problems than just debt. The time spent out of work and opting for modern day education does have its' plus points still; for example; your more likely to divulge into a successful work relationship that could fast track your progress within a company. There are also benefits in social networking within affluent groups that can help with job vacancies and using your skills to gaining the top vacancies. There are notable great fairy-tale stories of where ex students marry their student sweethearts and the relationship survives because the pair are equally intellectual and have the same work interests. What is so apparent in todays education system is the realms of total smoke-screening the UK public when it comes to exam results. Studies have proven that collective accounts of what the last 27 years of pure exam success has brought to the table; not a lot. What is noticeable is the re-jigging of the education curriculum, has effectively moved invaluable data of how the true results match-up to what was on the curriculum 25 years ago; making it impossible to valuate whether today's generation is in fact more able than their peers. By re-jigging particular modules, no-one has the correct valuation of what a good education is anymore. Boards always side with exam results, hence, the fact the percentage of passes keep increasing; as to keep schools funded and of course to keep teachers in work. If, the school has notable failed over a five year period a warning or a report will be sent to the school along with adjudicators to then revamp a failing education department. - It is all to be taken with a pinch of salt. League tables barely change and funding next year will be cut; but so will everything in the public sector. By misleading the public the government can do as they wish to the school curriculum without any barriers or contempt. The Assessment Reform Group claims that all reports published out from the government to the media should be handled with utter caution, and with a leaflet headlined 'Health Warning'. - Personally, it doesn't surprise me that what the government has done with education and assessments criteria are to complex assessment mechanisms systematically for a generation. It is an old Tory trick which has been passed on from Thatcherism. Labor has enriched her ruling within this sector of government. The problems are increasingly concerning as now the UK is up against it economically and any slight reform changes which is inevitable on a yearly basis, is costing another 750 Million per year for the taxpayer. - All for the student to be riddled with huge debts even before encountering the housing market. Instead of all the banks gaining unpresidented bonus and huge hand-outs, monetry funding should be there to give the students deserve the right to start their working life debt free. Now that would be rewarding pure talent, which is what we need in the UK when times are tough. copyright - 1st2thebar 09-09

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            12.11.2008 15:18
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            Should you pay for college or should it free and to who?

            When I went to college it was a full time course, from Wednesday to Friday, 8:30 til about 5:30. For the course I payed £88 Materials and then £60 for a travel pass for the year. This was all quite good as it was reduced from quite a lot as the government payed it as I am under 19. I have carried on my course this year and had to pay £750, which was very steep, and that without all the exam fees. I went to ask for help with this, and I got it all sorted to pay just £120 plus £95 for exams, which came to £215 in the end, which is a lot better that the £750. I'm still under 19 tho so why do I have to pay for my exams? Is there any possible help to re-claim this at all? On top of that I have had to buy a book which costs £85 for the course. I think education should be free for under 19's who have actually got straight on with higher education, and also to people who want to learn to move up in life. I do agree for company who have to send their staff to college for updates on health and safety etc. to pay them selves as they are big companies with the money.

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              09.09.2008 11:01
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              Deleted

              No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys!No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys!No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys! No more education reviews from me guys!

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                01.06.2008 20:07
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                costs

                I've found this to be a doubled edged sword, as I would very much like to take higher education and get a degree, but recently I have found that universities are "blacklisting subjects" meaning that some subjects are pointless in taking and they look down of pupils with a-levels or GCSE's in those blacklisted subjects, this came as great disappointment to me, as I'm soon to be finishing my A-levels and I am looking to university, however I have now found that half my a levels are blacklisted and the subject I wished to take is also blacklisted, the subject I'm talking of is law, I had thought law would be a great subject to take, yet apparently not, however I cannot complain as a few years ago I would not have even had the chance to go to uni, as higher education isn't free for all. Because of my recent family dispute and the fact that I live in a low income household and area the idea of uni seemed absurd, but thankfully for me the government finally came up trumps and created ways for my to get to uni, however at that end of my uni life, I will be left with large debt not only to the uni (fees and so on) but to the taxpayer who will be funding my trip via bursaries and grants, so in that respect it still isn't free for I have been lucky enough to be blessed with good friends and family although none of my family ever went to uni they appreciate the need for it if I wish to succeed. My uni experience will at first be largely funded by the taxpayer but, I will pay it all pack and hopefully because of my education be able to get a job in which I can serve the people more. With out this chance of higher education I could slip into the depraved world of chavs and a dead end life, but I thank you the taxpayer in advance for allowing me this opportunity, and maybe if more young people could get there faith back in the education system there would be less youth crime and violence, a road I may have been led down without this chance.

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                  21.06.2007 21:31
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                  good for all

                  Education should be free for all. Educated people progress further in life and they are more likely to help the country and create jobs. Education gives you better understanding of things. People without degrees do well as well but in my opinion less of them do well in comparison to degree holders and it takes longer for them. I know it is not possible to do free education for all. There are far too many people and there will be people who abuse the system. Still country will be better off with more degrees and training for everyone. UK is falling behind other countries in education. This is bad for all of us. Students coming out of uni have thousands of debts. Extra headache for those who don't get a well paid job. Free education will create a class, those who don't go into further education will suffer in work place but this is a risk that should be taken because there will always be a class system of one kind or another. Famous people who didn't complete education. Alan Sugar Richard Branson World has changed and without education people struggle and not everyone is like the two guys above so there is no comparison. I know what I have written will never happen as Blair is reducing costs all the time. Good idea in cash rich country.

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                    07.06.2007 21:29
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                    There are alternatives to University.

                    I don't think higher education should be free, however, it should not be as expensive as it is. I think universities have had their time. With the advent of the internet, learning can be performed online for a variety of subjects and courses. Why do students now need to sacrifice a whole three or fours years at college? Doctors, etc yes. From experience, a lot of people do degree and then don't use the knowledge that they have gained. This is a waste of time. I think what is needed in this country is a balance between practical work and education whilst there. The majority of jobs with training provided would provide a better start in life to an 18 year old than 3 years doing a dodgy degree. My advice would be to do something that gives you the best chance of getting a job you like, whilst getting work experience if you can. Don't get roped into doing an easy degree, thinking that a 2nd class or 1 st class honours degree will get you a top job, because in the majority of cases it won't.

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                      05.06.2007 00:18
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                      keep this system

                      I have a dilemma with this issue. The current system in Higher Education requires everyone to pay for their degree unless student has a sponsorship or is poor and can’t pay the fees. For others it is £3000 a year for three years, students can take loans out to pay for expenses. I agree with this idea; however there is a big issue with this type of system. Universities would rather pass the person who has forked out nearly £10000 than fail. Level of degree education has deteriorated. Students are not applying for harder degrees for fear of failure. Not many applicants go for physics, Math or Chemistry. Free for all is unworkable. Government currently spends millions, free education at degree level will increase expenditure to billions and taxes will have to go up. People who don’t go to university don’t want to pay for university graduate who comes out of university with brighter prospects of employment and promotion. While fees paid for the poor is not ideal it is better than anything else which has been tried in the past or hyped up by think tanks. Free education will at degree level will increase burden on state and some adults will become scavengers, doing a degree, dropping out and than starting again or you may find someone doing several degrees because entry is free. I prefer dodgy degrees to state spending billions.

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                        04.06.2007 20:51
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                        Higher education, worth while satisfaction

                        I am a great believer in higher education, I think if a person missed out on their education through ill health or other reasons I don't see why that person should miss out on getting back into the saddle and trying again. Yes this can be expensive, but it is worth it and if you are not working, or on a low income you are entitled to educational grants, which will give that person a chance at gaining confidence and knowledge as well as making a person feel good about themselves. Because I was caring for my family I missed out on a lot of schooling, and exams and came out of the educational system with no qualifications. I did get back into education a year after leaving school, but due to family pressure I ended up leaving. Then when I had my first child I deceided I wanted to get back into education so I could give my child a better life. I started with computer courses, and passed work processing, text processing, all at different levels and got certificates and I felt proud of my achievement. Then I moved, and the local college was offering free city and guilds computer courses, so I went along and decided to go for it, I signed up for the whole kit and kaboodle. I was lucky because six months later the college was charging £150.00 per course. Anyway to cut a long story short I have now got a city and guilds in spreadsheets and databases. And then last year I started an open university course, in the middle of the course I found out I was pregnant again and was worried I would not be able to complete the course, but it actually gave me the kick up the bum to keep going I was very determined and wanted to get this completed and gain knowledge from this, and in Ocotber I completed my exam. In december I got the new - I passed YES------------- great, I have now got certified recognition. Now this year I have started a short course which I am enjoying, then in October I will be starting a full course, I am in full anticipation. I will say education is very important, and well worth entering into, so give it a go..................

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                          17.05.2007 21:58
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                          pay for it

                          Higher Education shouldn't be free for all. Those who can afford it go for it. Those who can't afford it, get a job save up and then study. Lot of people don't go to university. It is unacceptable to ask these people to pay for a student who will earn more when university degree is completed and will have better job prospects with degree. Too many students are going to universities and too many students are coming out with rubbish degrees. Tax payers money will be wasted on these students. Paying for degree is incentive to work hard, get a good grade and pay back loans after a good degree grade. Job prospects are good and students should take advantage of this. Quality of degrees should improve. Universities should be allowed to charge higher fees. It is important though for the student to be able to get easy finance to pay fees and have money left to pay for living expenses.

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                            29.08.2006 16:52
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                            The price of your head

                            Having just completed my first year at university and about to start my second year, I have come to realize that nothing these days is free. Uno what they say "There’s no such thing as a free lunch"; well the same applies to higher education. I currently pay £1200 in tuition fees a year, and will have accumulated debts of up to £5000 by the time I have graduated. Should education be free for all or is it justifiable to put a price on someone’s head? There are arguments for and against tuition fees, I will try to take both sides into consideration and make a final judgment based on the facts. FOR: The argument for the proposal of tuition fees are plausible and do make sense. Nothing in life is or ever will be free, so why should education be any different? Their is always a price on a degree because people feel that this small loan should be seen more as an "investment" rather than a loan. This investment will give you a better education, give you the social skills needed in life and allow you to have a better chance at getting the job you always wanted. So is this really a justifiable reason for tuition fees? AGAINST: The main problem with the whole tuition fees are that certain social classes are being discriminated. I mean this because statistics prove that students, who come from a middle class family, are three times more likely to go to university rather than those whom come from a less well off background. Who are we to say only the rich and affordable should go to uni, their need to be more schemes, which help people in those types of backgrounds. The schemes which have already been implemented for such thing do not work affectively. AGAINST: Annual Fees of £3000 were introduced from September this year. For someone studying a three year degree you will have debts accumulating to £9000, and average accommodation costs of £10000, mean that by the time a student finished university, we will have a debt which will be a minimum of £20,000. This sum is a large amount and would take forever to pay off, looks like no chance of buying a house and getting a mortgage then. AGAINST: The Guardian website found that this year applications for university had fallen by 4%, which is 2.5% more than the government had already anticipated. This figure does some what alarm me that people have simply given up uni because of the cost attached to it. It’s such a shame because at the end of the day, it’s the economy that looses out. The more educated and skilled workforce we have the more input we are likely to obtain in the economy in the long term. An article written by the Guardian said that research showed that 77% of the British population thought students should contribute to some if not all of their tuition fees. So a large proportion of society does in fact think we should pay for our tuition. AGAINTS: This year the teachers at my university went on strike and thus none of the exams or the coursework was market for the duration of the strike. I was expecting my first semester grades in December, but due to the strikes I didn’t get them till late July. I felt sickened that my tuition fees were going towards tuition that I wasn't getting in an efficient manor. Looks like I have come out with more Cons then Pros for the tuition fees. I have nothing against tuition fees and do agree in the sense that we should pay for higher education, however I don't agree with the constant increases in the amount we pay. Where do they get their figures from?

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                              13.03.2006 17:20
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                              Look to the future before taking the plunge.

                              Politics graduate Lisa Taylor took her own life in July 2005. She was unable to cope with debt in excess of £15,000. She was only 26, but the pressure heaped on her to repay the money owed was too much. Lisa was not an extravagant student, she borrowed to be able to live and exist. By burdening young people with huge debts upon graduation, are we sending out a positive message to potential students? Faced with a massive debt at the age of 21, is university the right choice for the huge numbers that apply each year? Like Lisa Taylor I am a Politics graduate. I attended the University of Hull from 1997-2000. I emerged with a debt of £6000: £4500 in loans and a £1500 overdraft. I was fortunate to be part of the last intake that received full maintenance grants and was handed over £1500 annually to pay for my rent, food and books. I never struggled financially and neither did most of my friends. Those who had difficulties were mostly guilty of over-indulgence in pleasure. We would spend days in bars, drinking and enjoying being independent. Stories abound of people staying in Hilton Hotels for weeks, of cars and computers bought on a whim and even more ludicrously – the purchase by one friend of a genuine Samurai Sword. I was baffled as to how this would aid him in his engineering degree. Come Christmas people were beginning to struggle financially, but this was their own doing. Following the introduction of tuition fees and abolition of grants, in my final year I watched fellow students struggle because they couldn’t afford to eat and pay their rent, as opposed to finding hardship due to retail therapy. The girl living in the room next to me owed more following her first year than I did for my entire university life. I thought that abolishing grants and introducing tuition fees was a big step backwards. The average debt upon graduation in 2005 was £12,640 according to Nat West. This figure is more then double what I owed. On the positive side the government points to graduates having an increased earning potential of £400,000 during their lifetime. Further comfort comes from Student Loan Company loans being pegged to the Retail Price Index (RPI), meaning the rate of interest is very low and that paying back the amount doesn’t have to be start until the graduate is earning around £15,000 a year. Having an increased earning potential may spur students on and some will accept the debt as part of studying in this country. What about the psychological problems caused by owing large amounts of cash? Malcolm Hurlston, Chairman of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) claims that young people are “desensitised” to debt, claiming: “Credit cards have blurred the distinction between borrowing and spending and for many young people, student loans have made borrowing normal.” This is a negative way for young people to start their professional lives. In 2006 it has become evident how easy it is to add to student debt. During an investigation by Student Direct, one student was offered a £20,000 loan she could not repay after only seven minutes searching the internet. This was despite a low credit rating. A large number of students work part-time. During my studies I worked in a bar and corner shop, but for less than 15 hours a week and essentially to have more money to socialise. Today, over 40% of students need to take on part-time jobs due to increasing debt. There is a serious problem emerging with graduates in this country. Tony Blair wants 50% of school-leavers to attend university, but is he aware there are a large number of graduates who cannot get jobs? The marketplace has become saturated. Following my graduation I attended over a dozen job interviews for which there were a large number of applicants. At an interview for a government job I learned there were over 10,000 applicants for 30 posts. The increasing number of people obtaining good degrees adds to the choice of jobs thinning and can in turn, lead to many people facing debt repayments to borrow even more money. I would advise potential students to thoroughly research what they aim to study and to look forward to where they view their career heading. People need to seriously consider what they hope to achieve by attending university. What is the likely outcome if your degree doesn’t take you into a specific career with a predictable income? You will enjoy the experience, but may suffer severe financial hardship if you do not have the means to settle the debt with graduate employment. I believe there is a significant number who do not need further education. This hinders rather than helps them. Whilst recently on a train journey I got talking to a guy from Poland who told me about the current situation in Warsaw. He informed me that there was a massive number of graduates but few jobs and upon finding himself in this number, chose to take up a manual trade as an engineer. Manual trades will exist as long as people live in houses and businesses keep trading. I believe that future generations may need to venture into this area, because the country has become cluttered with highly educated people who cannot find employment whilst plumbers, electricians and plasterers are in short supply. I will discourage my children from attending university and show them the bigger picture of what they should aim to achieve from life. One of my best friends left school at 16 to become an electrician. Ten years later he has a stable job, his own house and car. I’m still struggling to find work six years after graduating and have a mounting debt to cope with. I know there are successful graduates, but the amount that cannot find employment and are saddled by debt is growing. At 18 it is difficult to make the big decision of whether to attend university and there needs to be more help and advice to prevent people from making the wrong decision. Nobody wants anyone to end up like Lisa Taylor, yet this signals the sign of the times.

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                                20.09.2005 16:04
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                                My views in a nutshell.

                                Controversial title eh? Well it is a contentious issue is it not? Opinion is seemingly divided into those who think students should pay up and "get a proper job" and those who think students represent the future of all that is necessary in society and as such should be funded totally by the taxpayer. However, I believe that it is not such a straightforward issue. My own personal opinion on Higher Education is not covered simply by either "free for all" or "fee for all" viewpoint but rather I am of a much more complex view. If the choice were mine I would be allowing students courses be it University or college to pay fees but I have strong belief in a system of means testing. I do not believe parents should have to pay for their child's education but neither do I believe that it should be the sole responsibility of the taxpayer to shoulder the burden. Although controversial the governments plan to allow graduates to pay back fees when they are working seems a good one to me. Of course graduates have to work incredibly hard to gain a degree but then they will be more than reaping the rewards when they qualify won't they? Of course this is all providing the method of means testing is appropriate and in my view providing a graduate is earning £20,000+ per year I fail to see a problem with them paying back a small proportion of this in fees. Rather this than increasing taxes or students and parents falling into poverty. Naturally if a student never achieves a sufficient wage level then they never have to pay it back. Popular argument against this is that graduates are an essential part of society and should not be punished for this and in part I agree. However, the graduate who gains a degree in Market Research is not to my mind doing a great deal to further society and in my opinion should be paying for their course that will reap them financial benefits in the future. Perhaps, the government and education authorities could look into free fees for courses deemed beneficial to society? Doctors who choose to work within the NHS, Lawyers, Social Workers etc could all be entitled to free funding under such a system. Of course deciding the courses that were "worthy" would be subjective but rather this than taxpayers money funding bizarre courses with little possible outcome. Do not get me wrong, I am all for furthering your own knowledge and improving yourself but perhaps not at my expense? I can see Students everywhere getting angered as I type but I say this a former student of two universities. My wife is about to attend university as is my sister so I am not saying this purely from a working taxpayers point of view. I applaud anyone who goes through the rigours of a University degree but whether all degrees should be free I would strongly dispute. Perhaps it is the degrees themselves I have a problem with and their lack of vocational direction? Whatever my motives I do not think University should be free although no doubt people will disagree...

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                                  19.04.2005 08:46
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                                  I would like to write on the rather controversial issue of tuition fees in English universities. It seems there are a vast number of people opposed to any sort of fees at Universities. Many think therefore that university education should be completely free, a right not a privilege. I do to, to a limited point. I think university education should be free to those unable to afford such a privilege, those who have genuine ability but through personal circumstances would be unable to attend a University without state support. Arguably, these poorer students deserve some sort of grant towards their living costs. There are plenty of students in genuine need. However, there a plently who are not. As a former student at a Southern University, what rather grated on me was a particular type of student. The incredibly comfortable yet ungrateful middle class type. The type who was happy for daddy to pay for her to go on her skiing holiday, was happy for daddy to pay for her car, was even happy for daddy to pay for her to go to a private school and have a tutor to get her to university in the first place, but ask daddy to contribute to the cost of her education at university and that is deemed as the biggest injustice of all time. What is often missed in the tuition fee debate, is that in refusing to pay for one's tuition, students or their parents are expecting the government to dip into the state fund; a fund which is desperately short at times. Yes, education should be a right, but what some privately educated university students fail to comprehend is that that right is not an equal right for the under 18's at present. Our comprehensive schools (which I attended) need vast resources poured into them. Kids on council estates up and down the land cannot sometimes afford a school uniform let alone even think of university. In many schools, there are inadequote resources, swelling class sizes and children in real and genuine need. So when students demand their education should be totally funded perhaps they should should recognise university is not enforced upon them, it is a choice they make, a great choice in fact for them to have a pleasant few years, to expand their mind, to have a fantastic social life, to have a lie in, to avoid the real world. This is a privilege and perhaps they need to pay for it rather than making the state dig deeper at the expense of the more genuinely needy and deserving.

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